Showtime Networks announced Thursday that Saturday’s fight between Floyd Mayweather and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, billed as “The One,” generated a record $150 million (GHS300 million approx) in pay-per-view revenue on 2.2 million buys. It breaks the record of $136 million (GHS272 million approx) for Mayweather’s 2007 fight against Oscar De La Hoya, but falls short of the 2.5 buys for that bout. “It shows the health of boxing and that it can deliver at the highest level,” says Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy which promoted both Mayweather fights.
Showtime, owned by CBS CBS -0.42%, is still counting PPV receipts from distributors and says “The One” has a shot at catching the 2007 De La Hoya fight in terms of total buys. The initial report had the 2007 fight at 2.15 million buys, but the total has grown over the years as more distributors reported sales of the event. Schaefer says money was still coming in last year for the 2007 fight. “It is the gift that keeps on giving,” he says.
Mayweather received a record guaranteed purse of $41.5 million (GHS83 million approx) purse for the fight, and as co-promoter with Golden Boy, he will also reap the spoils of the PPV haul. Mayweather is set to earn more than $80 million (GHS160 million approx) from the fight based on the current PPV estimates, and his final take could approach $100 million if the ultimate PPV tally exceeds 2.5 million buys. The one night payday tops the previous record in boxing of $52 million (GHS104 million approx) that De La Hoya received for the 2007 Mayweather fight. The Canelo fight pushes Mayweather’s career earnings over the $350 million mark (GHS700 million approx). And despite his free-spending ways and penchant for gambling, Mayweather showed that he has built up a sizable next egg in a recent ESPN The Magazine story when he displayed his $123 million (GHS246 million approx)balance on a bank receipt.
“This is everything we expected when Floyd made the move to CBS and Showtime. The best working with the best and record-breaking results,” says Leonard Ellerbe, head of Mayweather Promotions.
Whether “The One” ultimately breaks the PPV buy record or not, it is a huge win for Showtime, which signed Mayweather to a blockbuster six-fight deal in February that will net the boxer more than $250 million (GHS500 million approx). Showtime signed Mayweather to raise the profile of the network and help close the subscription gap with HBO. Mayweather’s first bout under the contract against Roberto Guerrero in May drew a disappointing PPV audience that Showtime announced was one million buys. But the Canelo fight generated an unprecedented amount of coverage and was breaking records long before the pay-per-view total was counted.
“The One” set a record for largest gate for a boxing match at $20 million (GHS40 million approx) with the MGM Grand Arena selling out in less than 24 hours. It was also the largest closed circuit viewing audience for a bout with more than 26,000 tickets sold in Las Veagas at $100 (GHS200 approx)a pop and more than 500 movie theaters showing the fight. Merchandise and sponsorships also hit record levels. Schaefer says the fight will exceed $200 million (GHS400 million approx) in total revenue when all revenue streams are counted.
Speculation is swirling on Mayweather’s next opponent with Danny Garcia, Amir Khan and Adrian Broner the popular names. And then there is the ever elusive possibility of Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao finally squaring off. Floyd is expected to be back in the ring in May for the third bout of his six-fight Showtime deal. Ellerbe says they don’t know what is going to happen next and adds, “Floyd is going to take some time off and take a much deserved vacation.”
He can certainly afford it.